Court document contradicts Walker bias claim about judge

Former state Sen. Charles Walker supported the nomination of the judge he now claims was biased against him during his federal trial, according to one of Mr. Walker’s former attorneys.

In a response to Mr. Walker’s petition for habeas corpus - a civil action an inmate can take to further challenge his imprisonment on constitutional grounds - U.S. Attorney Edmund A. Booth Jr. included a sworn statement from Thomas A. Tucker, one of three attorneys who represented Mr. Walker at trial.

Mr. Walker contends his team of attorneys were negligent for not asking U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. to step aside from Mr. Walker's criminal case. Mr. Walker claimed in his petition filed in March that he told his attorneys that Judge Bowen would be biased against him because Mr. Walker opposed the judge’s 1979 nomination to the federal bench.

Mr. Tucker, however, contended in his sworn statement that Mr. Walker never suggested Judge Bowen should recuse himself or that he had any reason to be biased against Mr. Walker.

The only discussion even remotely close to the issue was when Mr. Walker told his attorney that he had written a letter in support of Judge Bowen’s nomination. He wanted to know if Mr. Tucker thought the judge would remember that, according to Mr. Tucker’s statement.

Mr. Walker was representing Georgia Senate District 22 when he was indicted on federal fraud charges in June 2004. He was convicted of 127 counts and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The federal appeals court rejected his appeal, ruling he had been fairly tried and convicted. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider any further appeal by Mr. Walker.

Mr. Walker filed the habeas petition in March. Judge Bowen recused himself from this civil action because Mr. Walker claims his attorneys were ineffective for not seeking the judge’s recusal in the criminal case.

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